Wednesday, October 20

Sussex Police

- April 3, 2012

James Brotherhood – Police Dog Handler

Whats the most exciting job you’ve ever attended?

Easy answer – any job that involves you catching a criminal with your dog! Especially finding them on track, tracking is the one discipline that a dog can do that no human can and these are the prisoners that would otherwise get away.

The first one has to be my first ever prisoner on track. I was called to a male who had decamped from a van and run off across fields, when i arrived i tasked my dog to track and we went off into the darkness across the fields when eventually i saw in the distance the suspect ahead of me. He turned around saw me and ran, i challenged several times and he did not stop so i sent my dog ( with a very big grin on my face!! ) Within seconds i heard a loud ‘OW OW’ and as i lit them up with my torch i could see my dog jumping up and the male as he kicked out at my dog (not a good idea).

I shouted at the male and called my dog back, after getting the suspect onto his knees and placing my dog in the down i told the male i was going to approaching and handcuff him and that he was not to make any sudden movements or the dog would bite him again. I approached him and began to handcuff him and as i did this the suspect lashed out with his right arm, before i could say boo to a goose my dog came forward in defence and bit the suspect. Who quickly regretted his foolish move!

The suspect was found to be several times over the drink drive limit and was very apologetic to me the next day ( oh and very sore)!!

Only last set of late shifts I had a track from 3 suspects who had decamped from a vehicle after breaking into two jewellers, PD Baxter and i tracked through fields and across drainage ditches before finding a discarded glove then continuing to track up to the rear of a large country house where we found a very well hidden suspect who had with him a holdall containing watches and jewellery worth over ten thousand pounds! There is no doubt that without PD Baxter this suspect would never have been found. Dog jobs don’t happen that often but when they do they are the BEST feeling in the world! Some say better than sex!!!

Whats the most difficult job you have ever attended?

You can attend numerous difficult jobs within your role as a Police officer and also within your role as a dog handler. I have three that spring to mind.

1. First on scene to a car crash where one vehicle was on fire and the driver (a young male ) had died inside. There was nothing I or the onlookers could do to help as the heat was so intense. Fortunately the male inside had died on impact so at least he did not suffer in the fire. The fall out and dealing with the witnesses was surreal.

2. A family dog had bitten a 3 year old child in the face after turning on the child during play, the child almost lost the side of her face. Such a small child with its whole life ahead and such a horrific injury. Luckily emergency surgery and the excellent work of surgeons kept the long term impact to a minimum.

3. I attended a building which had been broken into and the suspects had been seen inside, this was during a spate of burglaries to commercial premises. When i arrived the containment I asked for was on, the helicopter was above (as they had tried to escape out the roof) and the scene was full of excitement and adrenalin. I had put over the radio that the dog was going in and for all officers to be alert. So imagine my frustration ( and some what blue language ) when I sent my dog in the back for the suspects to run out the front past a Police officer looking the other way and off up the road!!!! I then spent hours searching for them but to no avail. I was not a happy bunny!!

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